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Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 May;87(5):1290-7.

Food selection based on total antioxidant capacity can modify antioxidant intake, systemic inflammation, and liver function without altering markers of oxidative stress.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Parma, Parma, Italy.



It is unknown whether diets with a high dietary total antioxidant capacity (TAC) can modify oxidative stress, low-grade inflammation, or liver dysfunction, all of which are risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


We studied the effect of high- and low-TAC (HT and LT, respectively) diets on markers of antioxidant status, systemic inflammation, and liver dysfunction.


In a crossover intervention, 33 healthy adults (19 men, 14 women) received the HT and LT diets for 2 wk each. Dietary habits were checked with a 3-d food record during both diet periods and the washout period.


Fruit and vegetable, macronutrient, dietary fiber, and alcohol intakes did not differ significantly between the 2 diets, whereas dietary TAC, alpha-tocopherol, and ascorbic acid were significantly (P < 0.001) higher during the HT diet. Plasma alpha-tocopherol rose during the HT and decreased during the LT diet (P < 0.02 for difference) without changes in markers of oxidative stress except plasma malondialdehyde, which decreased unexpectedly during the LT diet (P < 0.05). Plasma high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, alanine aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase, and alkaline phosphatase concentrations decreased during the HT compared with the LT diet (mean +/- SEM for pre-post changes: -0.72 +/- 0.37 compared with 1.05 +/- 0.60 mg/L, P < 0.01; -1.73 +/- 1.02 compared with 2.33 +/- 2.58 U/L, P < 0.01; -2.12 +/- 1.45 compared with 5.15 +/- 2.98 U/L, P < 0.05; and 1.36 +/- 1.34 compared with 5.06 +/- 2.00 U/L, P < 0.01, respectively).


Selecting foods according to their TAC markedly affects antioxidant intake and modulates hepatic contribution to systemic inflammation without affecting traditional markers of antioxidant status.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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